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PhD candidate in synthetic polymer chemistry

Posted 31 Jan 2024
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Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Full-time
Job function
Salary
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
Deadline
28 Feb 2024 00:00

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The group of Dr. Joachim Van Guyse at the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR) has an opening for 1 PhD position in synthetic polymer chemistry. The PhD student will participate in a project focused on engineering polymers for the delivery of nucleic acids, messenger (m)RNA in particular. The overall aim of the research is to develop novel poly(2-oxazoline)-polypeptide block-copolymers, lipid-polymer conjugates, and nucleic acid formulations thereof by employing new synthetic methodologies and state-of-the-art techniques.

The research topic in this position involves the development of structure-activity relationships of the synthesized block-copolymers and lipid-polymer conjugates in the development of nucleic acid formulations to facilitate systemic circulation and improve the biodistribution of nucleic acid therapeutics.

Objectives: 1) Synthesis and characterization of poly(2-oxazline)-polypeptide block copolymers and poly(2-oxazline)-lipid conjugates, bioconjugation of targeting ligands and conjugation of imaging moieties 2) formulation development using state-of-art techniques, e.g. microfluidics; 3) in-depth physicochemical characterization of the formulations, followed by in vitro and in vivo evaluation of selected systems with respect to gene expression, cellular uptake, mRNA stability, biodistribution and circulation.

Selection criteria

  • A Master’s degree in Chemistry, Pharmaceutical sciences, or Biomedical sciences, or a related field;
  • Expertise in chemical synthesis, ideally in polymer synthesis and/or material science
  • Interest in formulation development; in vitro and in vivo assays, and biotherapeutic delivery
  • Strong communication skills in the group and with collaborators;
  • Proficiency in English;
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills (efficient time management).

Our organization

Working at the Faculty of Science means being part of an exciting, dynamic scientific environment which sets high standards for its students and staff. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences.

The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

Terms and conditions

We offer a full-time appointment of initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the research, teaching evaluations, personal capabilities and compatibility, the appointment will be extended for another three years. You will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 2.770,- per month in the first year to € 3.539,- gross per month in the fourth year based on a full-time position (pay scale P).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see the website: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Diversity and work-life balance

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. LACDR is a highly diverse institute, in culture, background, and gender. We stand for excellence in a caring Institute. We wish to reflect society in all aspects, as we believe that this improves the dynamics in our organization. Therefore, we support and understand the need for a work/life/family balance and consequent varying working hours and places. We believe that doing good science is fun, and goes hand in hand with a friendly culture.

De Universiteit Leiden is één van Europa’s meest vooraanstaande internationale onderzoeksuniversiteiten. De universiteit heeft zeven faculteiten in het alfa-, bèta- en gammadomein, is gevestigd in Leiden en Den Haag en heeft ruim 6.700 medewerkers en 29.520 studenten. Haar motto is Praesidium Libertatis – Bolwerk van Vrijheid.
Dankzij de bevlogen en betrokken medewerkers heeft de universiteit een leidende rol in wetenschappelijk onderzoek…


De Universiteit Leiden is één van Europa’s meest vooraanstaande internationale onderzoeksuniversiteiten. De universiteit heeft zeven faculteiten in het alfa-, bèta- en gammadomein, is gevestigd in Leiden en Den Haag en heeft ruim 6.700 medewerkers en 29.520 studenten. Haar motto is Praesidium Libertatis – Bolwerk van Vrijheid.
Dankzij de bevlogen en betrokken medewerkers heeft de universiteit een leidende rol in wetenschappelijk onderzoek en onderwijs en scoort Leiden elk jaar zeer goed in toonaangevende rankings. De lat ligt dan ook hoog. Ongeacht welk werk u aan onze universiteit doet, u wordt altijd aangemoedigd om uw horizon te verbreden, uw talenten te ontplooien en het maximale uit uzelf te halen.

Education
Leiden
6,700 employees